By Kuol Kuol Alberto Makuach, Juba, South Sudan
January 31, 2017 (SSB) —- For the sake of being misunderstood, allow me at the onset here to clarify few things. First, I don’t know in person the appointed Member of Parliament Hon. Oliver Majok, representing Abiem Centre Constituency. I have never heard anything bad about the representative. I don’t speak on behalf of any political god-father. Finally, I have no political ambition or having had any thoughts to occupy this seat. The driving force of this article is the quest for fairness and political accommodation
I would like to congratulate Kiir Mayardit, our president for listening to the call of people from Abiem centre in particular, for the appointment of a representative to the National Legislative Assembly Hon. Majok Aleu after the former representative was appointed as the Ambassador to the USA. We deeply and wholeheartedly thank Mayardit for the latter’s appointment.
As you might recall my dear readers, I wrote an article some months ago demanding for a replacement of Mr. Garang Diing the Ambassador to the US not because he had done anything wrong, but because the people for which he was elected to represent in the parliament should have someone to voice their concern. His absence had dealt us a big blow in many ways for which I am not ready to divulge into here.
The appointment of a replacement of Ambassador Garang, Hon. Oliver Majok Aleu has been received with mixed reactions by the constituents of Abiem Centre. Some are opposed to his appointment while many accepted it for the simple fact that, we had called for a representative regardless of where he could come from as long as he/she is from Abiem centre constituency.
But before getting far on the reasons for the ambivalence reaction, allow me to bring into your attention this constituency and her composition. Abiem centre as the name perfectly reveals, is in the heart of the former Aweil East County, now turned into Aweil East State. This area is comprised of four sections (Chieftaincies) that is, Wun Anei, Makuach Athian, Ajuongthi and Apuoth Yel. These sections were put together in the arrangement of the civilian military administration (1994) into three Payams.
These sections are presented by one national Member of Parliament although frankly speaking, they should have more than one representative as the area is large and its population is above a hundred thousand people. How they came to be represented by one person is equally questionable just like the appointment of the MP in question.
The three Payams were Wunlang Payam which comprised of two sections of Apuoth Yel, which are Kuethchuar and Howalueth, Mangar Tong Payam comprised of Pingdong and Ajuongthi and Baac Payam comprising of Makuach Athian and Wun Anei sections. These payams existed from 1994 till 2016 when finally the President decided to create more states and Aweil East County happened to be decreed a state on its own.
The governor of Aweil East State decided to create counties out of the former existing Payams (7) of which each of those Payams mentioned above plus others became counties. However, to the dismay of many, Baac Payam was divided into two counties, each chieftaincy given a county on its own while the rest of the sections combined earlier in a payam remained intact. Baac Payam where the governor comes from became Rumaker county, while Warguet where the chief of general staff comes from became another county. There was no justification whatsoever to warrant this Payam to have two counties unless we are talking about cheer nepotism and dominance. Whatever the case, it is not the bond of contention here, so I leave it for future debates.
That is the background information of where the controversial appointment in question will be discussed. And so my dear readers, let me hope that I have not bored you as I turn now to enumerating as well who have been representing Abiem centre constituents. The importance of being aware of who has been representing Abiem centre could make one to draw his/her own conclusion whether this is fair or not.
The first representative was Hon. Brigadier General Akuei Ajou Akuei famously known as Akuei Abusala who served from 2005 up to the elections period of 2010 before he was denied the ticket by the SPLM party upon which he chose to contest as an independent candidate but he lost. Hon. Akuei comes from Baac Payam, Makuach Athian section. As to whether he delivered the aspirations and expectations of the people, is not the topic of this article.
After his subsequent denial to run under the ticket of the SPLM and lost, Hon. Garang Diing Akuong became the first elected area MP. He too comes from Baac Payam, Wun Anei section. He served in this capacity until the President elevated him to the ambassadorial position in 2014. But before this, he had been a minister twice in the national government.
Finally, he was replaced by Hon. Oliver Majok Aleu who was decreed in on Monday the 16th of Jan. 2017. The current MP comes from Baac Payam, Wun Anei section. These are the people that have represented us right from 2005 to date. And if you may recall earlier, I said this constituency is comprised of three Payams or four chieftaincies. Two Payams of two chieftaincies have been literally sidelined or marginalized by one Payam.
How was Hon. Oliver appointed? Our constitution is very straightforward on this, yet nobody follows it. Was there any consultation? There was none apart from the consultation amongst those that made this decision without involving the very owners of the seat.
Now that Aweil East State is functioning and the Payams I have been referring to have apparently become counties, it is duly right to refer to them for the rest of the remaining part of this work as counties.
Is it political dominance or the ignorance of Abiem centre people especially Mangar Tong and Wunlang counties? Is this constituency reserved for former Baac Payam only? Can Wunlang and Mangar Counties be given another constituency since they do not have any right to lead this constituency? These questions are best left to the appointing authority.
Egoism is the cause of all the mess in this world. I do not claim to have eliminated it either, because even my own complain in this article, is a manifestation of self-centeredness, however, from another angle, I am calling for fairness. Someone within this community wants to sow seed of division among us, which is why he/she always comes up with controversial decisions.
I am therefore calling on you Mr. President to revoke this appointment and instead order for fresh elections so that we the rightful owners of this constituency choose our leader. I know it will not work because it has never been done before anywhere in this country, but that is in line with what the constitution says.
Alternatively, you can create another constituency for the two counties and appoint someone else. There is nothing surprising about this after all you just did that with the governor of Akobo whom you appointed and fired the next day. Hon. Oliver can still be relieved and another person takes over.
You can reach the author via his email: Kuol K. Alberto <email@example.com>
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